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Archway Tower site for special show this week

PUBLISHED: 10:38 14 October 2013

A still from the solo piece that will be projected onto the Archway Tower

A still from the solo piece that will be projected onto the Archway Tower

Archant

It was Shakespeare who once wrote “All the world’s a stage” but even he would be left open-mouthed at the venue for a special show.

Scarabeus performing on the front of Islington Town Hall, as part of the borough's celebrations on Olympic torch relay day, 2012.Scarabeus performing on the front of Islington Town Hall, as part of the borough's celebrations on Olympic torch relay day, 2012.

Archway Tower will be the stage in question for the aerial theatre company Scarabeus when they perform their new work ‘Paradise Lost?’ this week.

Aerial artists will be attached to the tower by wires and scale the heights of the 195-foot tall, 16-storey building.

The performance will feature a soundtrack and video projections and draws on the history of the iconic site and the people who live in Archway.

Daniela Essart, Scarabeus artistic director, said: “As an artist, I’m inspired on a daily basis by Archway and its people and history. The Archway Tower and its surrounding area has a particularly fascinating story to tell.

“Where the tower now stands in ‘isolation’ lived the most extraordinary and beautiful orchid houses.

“I am fascinated by the idea that so much beauty was here and the possibility that such beauty can return.

Paradise Lost? is about linking the tower with this history, reconnecting the building with the local community by providing a voice to the tower, making it alive and pulsate with energy again.”

The tower, vacated in 2011, was built in 1963 and initially housed the department of social security. Prior to that the site was the home of noted botanist Benjamin Samuel Williams.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council member for health and wellbeing, said: “The Archway Tower is a building that has always provoked mixed responses from residents, but there’s no doubt that it’s an iconic landmark in the local area.

“I doubt that when it was first designed, anyone ever imagined it would one day become the location of an aerial theatre piece.”

The performance of Paradise Lost? has been commissioned by the arts-led regeneration project A Million Minutes.

The scheme is funded by Islington Council to the tune of £200,000 and £40,000 from Arts Council England.

Scarabeus will perform Paradise Lost? from 8pm-8.30pm on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 October and residents are invited to gather on the pavement to watch.

For more information visit www.amillionminutes.org

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